Road materials on the rise with gas

Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A recent bid on paving and other road maintenance materials show a price increase of up to 90 percent for asphalt and other materials, which might limit the amount of county road work.

The lone bid turned into the board during Monday’s meeting reflected increases that ranged from 80 to 90 percent for materials such as asphalt, hotmix and gravel. The quotes will be good for three months, but Road Department Manager Mike Mitchell estimates that those increases could add another up to $1 million to the road work budget.

“We’re going to have too look long and hard at what we’re going to do,” Mitchell said.

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District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday expressed confusion about how the price of a barrel of oil is on the decline but the price for materials derived from oil is increasing.

“If people will stop using it it will come back down,” Holliday said.

A state funded project to repave Interstate 59 from McNeill to Hillsdale may be put on hold if the prices remain this high, Mitchell speculated.

The bid price, which was the only one turned in, was taken under advisement and later approved.

The need for amendments to the subdivision regulations was discussed as the board considered a request to subdivide a parcel, which involved a narrow private road. While the subdivision of the parcel would not constitute a full blown residential subdivision at this point, District I Supervisor Anthony Hales fears that a parcel subdivided multiple times through the years will eventually amount to a subdivision. That process would leave that subdivision without regulations. A lack of regulations would led to such problems such as road maintenance, since private roads are not the responsibility of the county. Some times private roads are neglected since the property owner may not have the money to conduct the necessary repairs, Holliday said.

Holliday said he talked to a property owner who asked him to fix a private road, even though the property owner knew he was buying property on a private road and what that would entail.

“The truth is we can’t protect people from themselves,” Holliday said.

The recommendation to subdivide the parcel was approved, with the contention that the board’s concerns would be shared with the landowner.

A number of county bridges will see repair work now that a grant has been approved for the county. That grant will help roads that are not part of state aid projects, county engineer Les Dungan said. The grant provides the county with $644,000 to fix bridges on about ten roads including, Humphery Road, Beech Road, Archie Wheat Road, Buck Stewart and a number of others. Planning and right-of-way acquisition will be the next steps to fixing those bridges.

Older mobile homes are a safety concern for the county. Holliday said he has heard of people attempting to bring in older mobile homes that are not zoned for this county. After those people spend the money to move a mobile home into the county and attempt to get electricity hooked up to it, they find out the power company refuses to connect electricity to it, since the home does not meet the county’s wind speed rating.

Pearl River County has a wind speed rating of zone 2, which means the home is required to handle 120 mile per hour winds. Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero said that existing mobile homes already registered with the county are grandfathered in, but unregistered homes will not be approved unless they meet that requirement.

The board went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter with Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and to discuss a personnel matter with the Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home. No action was taken on either matter, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.

In other business the board;

— Accepted a donation from the Dufrene estate, which deeded the Henleyfield walking track to the county.

— Approved a fundraiser to be held at the Carriere walking track to raise money for playground equipment.

— Approved applying for an extension for the HOME buyer assistance program.

— Approved issuing a check to Hancock County for six patrol vehicles.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors will be 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 6.